Wednesday 17 January 2018

McCarthy lightens mood

Sunderland 1
Wolves 3

Rob Stewart

Mick McCarthy plays the role of curmudgeonly Yorkshireman to perfection in public but, according to his most senior player, behind the scenes of Wolves' relegation fight he is the dressing room cheerleader.

"Maybe he can come across as grumpy, but not to us," veteran defender Jody Craddock said after this vital away win. "It is his job all week to try and keep us upbeat and make sure that we do the right things in training.

"Everyone who knows Mick, knows he's so honest. Do we need to pick him up? No, the gaffer is the person we look to when we are down in the dumps. When we've lost again, we've looked at him to try and get us out of it."

Craddock volleyed his first goal for 14 months to put Wolves ahead and although Stephane Sessegnon struck an acrobatic equaliser, the visitors deservedly prevailed thanks to headed goals from Steven Fletcher and George Elokobi.

"Staying up would be the biggest achievement of my career," Craddock said. "We've had some fantastic results, beating Manchester United and Chelsea, but it is a tough division to try and get results. We are upping our game, but so is everyone else.

"We have been down there all season. It is not a case of suddenly dropping down and beginning to panic. We have just kept a level head and managed to keep it going."

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, meanwhile, is planning for life without Bolo Zenden after he told him he would be quitting Wearside in the summer. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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